We are moving closer to gender equality every day, yet a gap still exists between opportunities available to women, and their confidence to seize those opportunities and turn them into action.
This “confidence gap” for women is pervasive globally – and in Rwanda and throughout East Africa that gap translates to missed opportunities for social and economic advancement. Rwanda’s government leads the way in providing huge support to women and girls. But change also needs to be driven from the grassroots to accompany the work of Rwanda’s government. We will attain gender equality once women no longer face subordinate family roles, increased employment barriers, or social constraints.
We know that it is smart economics to invest in women, but providing access to skills is not enough. When organizations deliver programs that solely focus on hard skills or education, they are leaving impact on the table. Developing self-confidence and the soft skills that come along with it are crucial to allowing women and girls to take full advantage of opportunity and to close social and economic gaps in East Africa.
The key to development and growth lies in our ability to equally engage women and girls in society. If we want women to be at the forefront of a movement to build prosperity, we must give them the tools to make their voices resonate.